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Daniel and Meriam
Photo: Gabriel Wani / Facebook

A Christian wife and mother was released from prison on June 23rd, only to be apprehended along with her family the next day at the Khartoum airport.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced in May of this year with apostasy -- a crime punishable by hanging -- and adultery, as government officials didn't consider her marriage to a Christian man valid. Eight months pregnant at the time, she was confined to a prison cell along with her 20-month-old son. At the end of May, Meriam gave birth to a daughter while shackled to the prison floor. (For more information on these charges and her imprisonment, please visit our website.)

Following worldwide attention on her plight, the appeal court reviewing her case quashed the original verdict and ordered her release. Yet this family's rejoicing was short-lived. According to Meriam's lawyer, over 40 agents from the National Intelligence and Security Services apprehended the family the following day as they attempted to board a plane to the USA. Meriam's husband, Daniel, is an American citizen.

At last report, the family was being detained at a police station on charges of forging official documents and giving false statements. The accusations stem from the family using a travel document issued by the Embassy of South Sudan that lists Meriam's nationality as "South Sudan." However, Meriam is known to be a Sudanese citizen.

Another complicating factor in Meriam's case is that the Court of Appeal's recent verdict has not yet been formally issued in written form. As such, it is not yet known whether the Attorney General will appeal the verdict to the High Court.

Thank the Lord that the initial charges against Meriam have been dropped, and let us praise Him for sustaining her and her young children while they were incarcerated in prison. Pray that this latest setback will be resolved quickly and that God will continue to guide this family to safety, allowing them to travel to the United States. May the international outcry over this case bring to light Sudan's other religious freedom violations, and thus lead to increased freedom for all believers. Pray, too, that the authorities involved with this case will be moved by Meriam's unwavering stand for Jesus and turn to Him in faith.